A new view on news

Australia is getting a new weekly newspaper.

A new view on news

Those sick of reading news produced by Fairfax Media and News Corp Australia (formerly News Limited), rejoice. A fresh voice is hitting the newsstands, in the form of Australia’s newest newspaper, The Saturday Paper. It is produced by Morry Schwartz, publisher of The Monthly.

The Saturday Paper is available in print in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra each weekend. It will also be published on a website and mobile app. The new publication hopes to offer a deeper analysis of the stories of the week, rather than simply offering news as it breaks.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull attended the launch last week, making a controversial speech as he wished the publishers well. He has since been criticised by members of his own party and the media for appearing to disparage News Corp Australia chairman Rupert Murdoch and his publications during the presentation.

Mr Turnbull said to Mr Schwartz during his speech, "You are not some demented plutocrat pouring more and more money into a loss-making venture that is just going to peddle your opinions." Mr Turnbull has since explained that he was referring to US newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst with the comment.

He did, however, directly mock the reporting in The Australian newspaper, saying "there is nothing too small in terms of the deficiencies of the nation ... for them to focus on."

Mr Turnbull has addressed his critics, telling them he will not be playing favourites among media companies.

"They apparently would like me to be … the minister for right-wing communications or communications that agree with the Liberal Party.

"I am the minister that seeks to ensure that we have the freest and most diverse media we can possibly manage. I am the minister that wants to take away the barriers to competition wherever I can so that as many voices can speak out as possible, and whether they are left or right is of no concern to me in my capacity as the Minister for Communications."

Read more at the ABC News website.

Visit The Saturday Paper website to get a taste of what’s on offer.

Opinion: A fresh voice

I have finally started watching the HBO television series The Newsroom. It was recommended to me as a show about an idyllic world, set around a nightly news show in America, in which journalism is a profession of integrity and news reporters tell it like it is, political and social bias be damned.

I think it’s interesting that everyone who has described The Newsroom to me has done so with starry eyes, as if living in a world with honest reporting is an impossible dream, but one they’re secretly hoping comes true someday.

A line from Mr Turnbull’s speech reminded me of this show. He told his audience last week, "We should rejoice in our democracy and the diversity of our news and our journalism."

Of course everyone has their bias, and Mr Turnbull is no exception. But he is clearly trying to put that bias aside in favour of striving for “the freest and most diverse media we can possibly manage”. I certainly applaud that sentiment.

Perhaps the reason why print newspapers have been performing so poorly, and why so few Australian’s are prepared to pay to read the news online, is not because print newspapers are a dying breed. Maybe we’re just all really sick of getting our news filtered through Fairfax Media and News Corp Australia.

Australia is ready for a fresh voice in journalism. One which is honest and unbiased, and one which asks all parties the difficult questions, regardless of political standing. Whether or not The Saturday Paper is going to be that voice is difficult to say after only a week in print. I tend to think not, but I would be happy to be proven wrong. But it is very clear that there is space in Australia’s media industry for someone to step up and make shows such as The Newsroom a reality.

What do you think? Is Rachel being too hard on journalism in Australia? Do you think we have good access to honest news, or is there room for improvement? And will you be buying a copy of The Saturday Paper this Saturday?





    COMMENTS

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    Happy cyclist
    4th Mar 2014
    10:32am
    Thank God for Mr Turnbull.
    Anonymous
    5th Mar 2014
    12:25am
    Not so sure about the god thingy, but yeah, bloody amazing and points were well stated by Turnbull.
    Golden Oldie
    4th Mar 2014
    12:44pm
    I stopped buying newspapers some years ago, mainly because the only news items that were not fiction or based, were the death notices.
    Anonymous
    5th Mar 2014
    12:23am
    I like dry humour. Cheers
    KSS
    4th Mar 2014
    1:04pm
    I don't think the general drop in newspaper sales has anything to do with the perceived quality of the reporting or individual media owners. It doesn't even have anything to do with dirty hands from the printing ink or wanting to access on-line.

    I believe it has more to do with the fact that many people nowadays want everything in miniature sound-bites - nothing more than 140 letters (see Twitter) or 15 seconds audio/visual or their attention wanders.

    I travel to work by bus which takes an hour (or more). I would be the only person reading a newspaper. Almost everyone else would be on their mobile devices playing games, checking facebook, occasional e-mail and even more rarely reading a book on a kindle or something similar (ipad?). Most people I work with do not read newspapers even on-line on a regular basis. At most they would check headlines for an important/hyped event (Schapelle Corby bail...). People are more concerned with their own lives and those of their electronic 'friends' than what is actually happening around them.

    I do not know The Monthly, though with a circulation of about 31000 that's not very surprising (compare Top Gear car magazine has 50,000 The Big Issue (sold by the homeless) has a comparable circulation of 29,000+ and the Australian Women's Weekly 451,000+) so clearly does not have much of a following even though it is not a 'dreaded' Fairfax or Murdoch publication.

    This new weekend newspaper from the same publisher is simply another choice. It will not change the limited reading habits of the Australian public nor will it change the majority public opinion. It remains to be seen what impact it may have but I predict it to be akin to a mossie bite on an elephant.
    Nightshade
    4th Mar 2014
    1:09pm
    Morry Schwarts - husband of Anna Schwarts of Anna Schwarts Gallery Flinders Lane /?
    I know Anna !
    FrankC
    4th Mar 2014
    3:12pm
    Don't go down that same 'foreign illiteracy' of many Australians,Nightshade. It is not Schwarts, but Schwartz, pronounced Shvartz, not, god help us Shwoorts. This is as bad as the big mistake Holden made when they named one of their cars the 'Equipe', which, unsurprisingly is pronounced as the normal word Equip. Has anyone wondered why there is an 'e' on the end. It is a French word, pronounced 'ekeep', which means in French 'Team' . You would think by now car manufacturers had learnt to not give a car a foreign name in Australia; at least we won't have that problem in a few years time.!
    Nightshade
    4th Mar 2014
    1:14pm
    Malcolm Turnbull is said to be a JONHA
    Watch out Morry -
    Nightshade
    4th Mar 2014
    1:24pm
    1 :- Let us wait & see what song Malcolm sings if Morry's rag savages him one fine day.
    2 :- Should The House of Rothschild - who funded World War II & made massive profit from it - have been hauled up before the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague along with their collaborators the Nazi's.
    There are things that need to be talked over truthfully - will Morry do this.
    That is the question ?
    Nightshade
    4th Mar 2014
    1:30pm
    200 years ago The House of Rothschild & The House of Saxe Coburg Gother ( Queen Liz's mob ) were NOTHING
    These two families joined hands, walked into the blue yonder & look at them today -
    The blood of gazillions on their hands & Buck Palace is crumbling from the bottom up. What did they do with all that money.
    dougie
    4th Mar 2014
    1:40pm
    Even though there has only been one edition, I have read the Saturday twice now.
    "The first and the last time."

    What a terrible waste of paper this one eyed bigoted piece of tripe was. We so badly need a balanced well written newspaper and we now get the Saturday. Oh well it is said that we get what we wish for.
    Anonymous
    4th Mar 2014
    7:57pm
    dougie

    Indoctrination is a sad thing. Fancy being the patsy of the likes of Murdoch and the other (mostly) foreign CORPORATE media, who simply PEDDLE their self interest to the mindless minions, to follow like lambs and put money belonging to Australia and Australian's in foreign hands.

    Good one dougie…… how beautifully thought out and sold out.
    dougie
    5th Mar 2014
    8:20am
    Mussitate,
    I thought to read The Saturday because I do not read either the Murdoch press nor the Fairfax press because of their one eyed view of the world and politics. I had thought that the Saturday may have offered balanced researched position but I was again disappointed.
    Why must you and several others decry the right to have an opinion different to yours? One can be a self thinking person with opinions gathered over the years without being a slave to one or another side of politics and retain the right to make comment without being branded by others.
    Reeper
    4th Mar 2014
    1:43pm
    All Australian media pay lip service to one political persuasion or another and as a result news is poorly reported. I know the ABC gets a lot of flak, and deservedly so because it highlights political bias. As an example much of Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd's dodgy behaviour was completely ignored by the ABC and the ABC then accused the other media of being biased when it was reported by them. Media MUST report the news, not journalise events to meet political aims. Free to air news is almost hilarious in it's amateurish efforts to gain viewers with mindless 'scoops' over serious news; it is often as if one station will report the opposite of another just to create controversy.
    Anonymous
    4th Mar 2014
    7:51pm
    Oh! Dear….Reeper, you certainly have been listening and reading too much Murdoch media. The ABC has a very STRICT statute which they are required to abide by and an independent tribunal that they are required to answer to, should there be any irregularities suggesting bias. Unfortunately, the Corporate (mostly foreign) owned Media do NOT have such strict guidelines and actually sit on their own disciplinary board which means that can say and do what they damn well please…. even lie!

    Media independence is essential to a democracy and that is why it is essential the ABC and SBS is retained and why our Corporate (mostly foreign) owned Media should come under the SAME stringent statute as the ABC AND be held accountable by an INDEPENDENT disciplinary board which has plenty of TEETH!

    Without it, we do NOT have a democracy, we have tyranny.

    Good on Malcolm Turnbull for standing up and being counted on this issue!!!! A very brave man. Now all Turnbull has to do, is give us (the Australian people and Australia) back National's/Labor's NBN and Australia will be back on the road to prosperity, instead of austerity!

    4th Mar 2014
    2:25pm
    No left wing news outlet ever makes money they are trying to preach to the unconverted.
    Anonymous
    4th Mar 2014
    8:00pm
    How ironical, Pete….. can you see it, well can you!!

    Sad because I know you can't.
    Anonymous
    4th Mar 2014
    11:17pm
    Perhaps there is an exception to the rule YLC
    Anonymous
    5th Mar 2014
    12:16am
    Tut.. tut.. Pete, didn't know I had that much of an effect upon you.

    Do you notice how those hardliners on the right want ONLY their voice heard but others, especially those on the left don't mind ALL voices being heard.

    I can only put that down to the fact that it is very hard to convince the average person to shell out their good money to pay for the elite wealthy to have a better life, when there is information available that shows how ridiculous such assertions are…. no matter how 'nicely' packaged it is.

    Another BIG reason to control and ensure we Australians do not have the National's/Labor's NBN and are stuck in the backwaters with the pathetic stuff being dished up by Murdoch's controlling majority…. aye, what.
    Anonymous
    5th Mar 2014
    2:35pm
    You have no effect on me at all, rather conceited of you to think I was referring to you.
    I was referring to the editorial content on YLC
    Anonymous
    7th Mar 2014
    11:12pm
    Phooey Pete…. YLC (anagram)?

    So, your response to the real issues and comment made…… nothing?!

    Hide behind inanities whenever possible…..
    Ballgameskeith
    4th Mar 2014
    3:32pm
    outside of your limited world view eh Dougie?
    dougie
    5th Mar 2014
    3:10pm
    I feel that as a person I would appear to have a much broader outlook on life than some who write crass comments to this outlet.
    Gee Whiz
    4th Mar 2014
    6:09pm
    Nothing Malcolm Turnbull does to stab his own party in the back would surprise me. He should be the leader of the ALP the way he carries on. And as for the Saturday Paper its just another arm of the Labor party also. You only have to see the credentials of its journalists to figure that out.
    Anonymous
    4th Mar 2014
    8:30pm
    Gee Whiz

    Another hilariously ironic comment. Let's rewrite that shall we…..

    Murdoch's and other (mostly) foreign CORPORATE media 'is just another arm of' self interest and indoctrination of the masses to ensure that we vote and support… wait for it…. even MORE WEALTH for the WEALTHY (at all costs).

    Yes, the propaganda SPUN from these outlets to the minions who follow blindly… support CORPORATE wealth acquisition, even at the expense of Australia, even the Great Barrier Reef is not safe, even the future of Australia is thrown away (National's/Labor's NBN scuttled).

    BUT go ahead Gee Whiz….. you keep getting reeled in, and ridicule someone (Malcolm Turnbull) who has the guts to take a stand and wants to ensure a more broad media outlet for the people of Australia. In fact his statements are what an Unbiased Minister for Communications should do.

    AND it does take guts because it is dangerous, career wise, to upset our American mogul, Rupert Murdoch - you know, the one who recently RIPPED Australia for $882,000,000 (million) in tax rebates - you MUST have read about it in Murdoch's headlines as it would have been detailed day in and day out for many weeks, it was such a rip off…. Yes!

    4th Mar 2014
    7:54pm
    Good on Malcolm Turnbull for standing up and being counted on this issue!!!!

    A very brave man. Murdoch is not to be trifled with.

    Now all Turnbull has to do, is give us (the Australian people and Australia) back National's/Labor's NBN and Australia will be back on the road to prosperity, instead of austerity!
    Tom Tank
    4th Mar 2014
    9:51pm
    Australia desperately needs diversity in the news media. The reason so any think the ABC is biased is because, with the exception of SBS, the other media outlets are biased to the right of politics. This makes the ABC look left wing but in fact they are close to being straight down the line with their news reporting.
    Australia is probably the only so called "advanced country" that does not have a left wing media outlet. I suppose the rabid right will fulminate in outrage at that statement but then extremists of any persuasion do tend to have closed minds.
    A left wing media outlet would at least present another viewpoint which one would like to think would stimulate reasoned discussion of matters on importance.
    The most embarrassing aspect of living in Australia is the absolutely abysmal standard of commercial TV news and their so called current affairs program. Definitely for the brain dead and the actual effect is to dumb down reporting of real news leading to the unbelievable lack of informed comment one often reads and hears expressed.
    Melfunction
    5th Mar 2014
    12:35am
    I am an Aussie currently based in UK and now read The Independent and #1 for hopefully honest, unbiased intelligent reporting. I like the Fairfax papers but we need more Independent and non-political rags. So good luck to the new venture. Don't think much to the name but can't wait to read on my return to Oz.


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